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Early in camp, Fangio sees 'no separation' in QB derby; Jeudy continues to shine

Lock, Bridgewater, Jeudy sparkle Friday
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Posted at 5:41 PM, Jul 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-30 20:09:58-04

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Jerry Jeudy planted his foot, shook his hip and disappeared.

Did OTAs ever end?

No one turned more heads or cornerbacks than Jeudy in the offseason, and he continues to shine in training camp. Friday, he caught five passes during team drills and 7-on-7 work. One stood out. With Bryce Callahan, the team's best corner last year shadowing him, Jeudy hauled in a ball with his hands on a comeback route and in a blink put the veteran on skates.

I will say it again for the folks in the back: Jeudy is better in space than NASA.

"He’s an explosive player. He can change directions on a dime," Callahan said. "He’s going to be special.”

Early in camp, Fangio sees 'no separation' in QB derby; Jeudy continues to shine

Ronald Darby, the Broncos' top offseason acquisition, matches up frequently with Jeudy. The former Alabama star arrived in the league with lofty expectations. But after dealing with drops as a rookie, undermining his stats, Jeudy took it personally. He added weight, and lost himself in the JUGS machine. I haven't seen a single drop by him in team drills.

"He’s going to get you right? He’s a great route runner. He knows how to sell his routes. He has speed, quickness. He can get in and out of his breaks. He comes out here and competes every day. Like, he’s one of the first people out here every morning. He’s ready to work every day. So that wakes me up and has me ready to go. It helps me,” said corneback Ronald Darby, who won a one-on-one battle vs. Jeudy late in practice.

"It’s tough checking him, but that’s what you need out here. You don’t want everything to be easy. I love going up against him and 14 (Courtland Sutton).”

Jeudy became part of a Friday fabric that raised eyebrows. While Drew Lock won the day in a close heat over Teddy Bridgewater -- I have the scoreboard 1-1-1 the first three days -- both played well, especially late. Lock delivered the day's best pass in a 50-yard scoring strike to a diving K.J. Hamler on a post route. However, there were also connections with Noah Fant, Jeudy and Melvin Gordon.

After reviewing the film from the first two practices, Fangio offered this assessment of the quarterbacks.

"They've been pretty consistent, both of them," Fangio said. "I see no separation, if that's what you're asking.”

On a dump down to Melvin Gordon, Lloyd Cushenberry delivered the eye-opening play of the day. He caught linebacker Alexander Johnson with leverage, knocking him to the ground. That is never the goal when the team is not in pads -- that happens for the first time on Tuesday. But this was a perfect intersection of physics.

"That's football right there. You're at a practice and of course you want to stay up. Our main priority is taking care of each other out there on the football field but, at the same time we're trying to get better. D-Line does that to us, linebackers do that to us as well, and that was one of the plays where Lloyd did his job and he got A.J.," left guard Dalton Risner said. "You heard A.J. after, he went up to him and he said, ‘Not again. You messed up now. I'm coming after you now,’ and that's football."

It could spice things up over the next few days. Like Tuesday.

"I think (A.J.) was slowing up and got hit,” said inside linebacker Josey Jewell, who added with a light-hearted tone, “(A.J.) will do what he needs to later on.”

Nose tackle Mike Purcell has evolved into a terrific run stuffer, a man capable of occupying multiple blockers. However, he played only six games last season after suffering a Lisfranc foot injury. He appears over the issue, but unfortunately left Friday's practice with a sprained ankle. ...

Bradley Chubb continues to work on the side as he recovers from offseason ankle surgery. ...

Darby remains impressed with rookie cornback Pat Surtain II, who shows uncommon maturity and skill. "He's patient, willing to learn and works hard." ...

Competing for a final roster spot, cornerback Parnell Motley has had a tough start to camp, and was beaten multiple times Friday, including on a touchdown connection from Brett Rypien to Trinity Benson. ...

Bobby Massie received his first start at right tackle. He talked afterward, cursed a few times, showed his personality. He admitted that he used to talk (crap) with Vic Fangio when the pair were in Chicago, and that Fangio was one of the reasons he signed with the Broncos. ...

The NFL will hold its first “Training Camp: Back Together Saturday." The Broncos practice at their regular time -- beginning at 9:15 a.m. -- but will work out before an invitation-only audience. There will be a special dedication made to the Broncos' 10 Pro Football Hall of Famers (10 individual flags will be raised to honor them), Colorado's prep football state champs will be recognized, and former Broncos players will also be in attendance.